My Internship Experience At Paradox and Advice For Getting The Most Out Of Any Internship
by Erika Fonseca7 min read
Hi, welcome (or welcome back) to The Paradox Journal. My name is Erika Fonseca and I’m currently an Editorial & Marketing Intern in my final week at Paradox一 you may have heard from me here, here, or even over on the Paradox Instagram. When our Founder, Elise Gabriel, offered me the chance to write a piece about my internship experience, I jumped at the chance. The article below is the culmination of my experience at Paradox along with my learnings and advice to those looking to jumpstart their careers with an internship. It is my hope that the lessons I learned may inspire you to find and flourish in an internship that really lets you grow personally and professionally like I did at Paradox.
At Paradox, there is never a dull moment: always an article to write, a spreadsheet to create, or a new post to share with our followers. Thus, an internship at Paradox is not your run-of-the-mill, bring-me-coffee experience. A Paradox internship is hands-on and immersive. You are encouraged, and even expected, to use your voice and showcase the value that you bring to the table. Hence, I, like my fellow interns, have learned and grown immensely from my experience with Paradox.
"A Paradox internship is hands-on and immersive.You are encouraged, and even expected, to use your voiceand showcase the value that you bring to the table." — ERIKA FONSECA
WHY I APPLIED TO PARADOX
During the winter break of my junior year of college, I found myself spending a lot of time sitting in cafes and researching different internship opportunities for the upcoming semester and summer. In my search, I found Paradox.
This was my first introduction to Paradox as a brand, but the second I looked at the website, I knew it was where I wanted to work. An internship with Paradox combined my interest in the beauty industry, my love for a luxury feed aesthetic, and my plans to ultimately pursue an editorial position post-graduation. The more I looked into the brand, its values, and its incredible products, the more I could see myself working at Paradox. (I may or may not have had visions of myself in a boss babe power suit walking into the LA office and owning the whole high-powered-working-girl fantasy). So, I took this as a sign that I should put aside any hesitation and fears about not being good enough and just apply一 and I thank my lucky stars (pun intended) every day that I did!
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I didn't get to go into the office (as the team is currently fully remote and social distancing). However, everything I learned and experienced in this article, I was able to do fully remotely.
"At the forefront of an editorial and marketing internship at Paradox is content creation, both written and visual."
WHAT I LEARNED:PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
At the forefront of an editorial and marketing internship at Paradox is content creation, both written and visual(during my time at Paradox I got to work on writing, social media, design, and general brand communication projects). Taking this one step further, a Paradox internship teaches you valuable marketing lessons thought learning to look at data and analyzing your work, as well. Here are some of the top industry skills I learned during my internship:
Industry Terminology. Having only dabbled in the editorial world and beauty industry prior to this internship, I learned an overwhelming amount of terminology and acronyms that helped me throughout the internship. Having this type of knowledge is incredibly beneficial when looking for new opportunities, and even getting ahead in current positions, as it helps to establish credibility beyond your technical skill set.
Professional Programs and Applications. Just as I learned new terms, I learned new programs and applications that helped make the content creation process a lot easier. As the career market trends toward more remote and social-media-focused opportunities, having specialized and well-developed skills in online applications gives you a professional edge, one that I would never have crafted without the opportunities presented to me by Paradox.
Project Management. Throughout my experience at Paradox, I worked on a variety of projects across our social & digital platforms. As I gained more experience, I worked my way up to being a Project Lead on a number of different projects and collaborations. Not only did this give me the confidence to effectively lead a team and run different endeavors, but it also looks great on my resume! I was able to achieve this Lead Intern role through a lot of hard work and always going the extra mile for my boss (I would constantly do stuff to make her life easier without her even asking).
Dexterity With Google Spreadsheets & Drive. This may seem like a pretty simple skill, but I never realized how important it was until my internship with Paradox. I’ve always been organized, but leading social media campaigns and creating content calendars helped me to master Google Spreadsheets and understand the importance of organization on a whole new level. Now I feel readier than ever to manage projects and set them up for success from the beginning. My boss at Paradox was a stickler for organization and this really helped me master using Google work tools.
Networking. Perhaps most importantly, I learned how to network. I’ve been to networking events prior to this internship, but I always felt too shy and inexperienced to fully put myself out there. Working with Paradox gave me a new set of skills and a boost in confidence that has since helped me feel more confident to network. Not only that, but I’ve built professional relationships with other members of the Paradox Team, and this type of established rapport works wonders in the world of networking.
WHAT I LEARNED:PERSONAL SKILLS
Just as an internship with Paradox teaches you professional skills, it gives you the opportunity to develop and fine-tune your life skills, as well. These are the top personal skills I honed in on while interning at Paradox:
Time-management.Of course, time-management is a skill we develop throughout our entire lives一 and yet, if we’re honest, we all still struggle with it. That being said, I found that an internship with Paradox helped to encourage better time-management because the projects were collaborative and fun. I found that I was more motivated to work in a timely fashion because it was something that I enjoyed doing and I owed it to the people I was working with to get my work done on time.
Communication.Considering internships with Paradox are currently 100% remote, communication serves as the basis of the entire internship experience. Hence, your communicative skills become naturally developed and you learn how to communicate professionally, effectively, and with a large array of people. I learned to proactively communicate in a startup environment in a way that made life easy for my boss, my fellow interns, and colleagues.
Personability.Usually, I lean more towards the quiet and shy side. However, in the professional world, this can sometimes stand in the way of taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. In working with Paradox, I have found that I’ve become less shy and more willing to approach others. This is one of those things that there is no easy answer for — I think it just takes practice to develop comfortability. Weekly calls/video chats with my boss, collaborating with others, and reaching out to influencers were all things that helped me develop my people skills in this role.
Leadership.In conjunction with the aforementioned skills, my internship with Paradox gave me the perfect opportunity to hone in on my leadership skills. Leadership, of course, utilizes skills like communication and management; but I find that it serves as a separate skill in and of itself. Due to my experiences with Paradox, I have been able to begin to develop my own leadership style and I know that, moving forward, I will be able to confidently lead whatever projects may come my way.
Confidence.Confidence is a skill that I did not initially think I would be learning from my time as a Paradox Intern. Nonetheless, I am leaving the internship with much more confidence一 in both myself and my abilities一 than I had when I first started. Accordingly, I’ll be able to continue along my career path with an increased tenacity and assertiveness that I know will ultimately get me where I’m supposed to be.
PRO TIPS: HOW TO PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE PROFESSIONALLY
I know this is a lot of information to throw at you, and sometimes it’s a lot harder to apply lessons to your daily life than it is to simply read about them on a blog post. So, I’ve taken the liberty of turning these lessons into four simple pieces of advice to help you learn to put yourself out there professionally.If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this:
Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.
Don’t be afraid to use your voice.
Do your research and know your strengths.
Trust yourself and your abilities一 you got this!
Interning at Paradox opened up a surplus of doors for me. I worked remotely with women from various states and countries and made connections that will last throughout my professional career. Every check-in call withElise Gabriel (that’s right, Paradox Interns get to meet and learn directly from our Founder and CEO!) not only left me feeling motivated to get the work done, but confident in my ability to do so. This may be the end of my experience as a Paradox Intern, but it is not the end of my relationship with the Paradox Team and the amazing women that stand behind it.Due to my experience at Paradox, I now have an arsenal of tools and a developed work ethic that can take me further than I would’ve been able to go before.
“THIS MAY BE THE END OF MY EXPERIENCE AS A PARADOX INTERN, BUT IT IS NOT THE END OF MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PARADOX TEAM AND THE AMAZING WOMEN THAT STAND BEHIND IT.” — ERIKA FONSECA
If you liked this article, be sure to check out the other features in our Career Section! You may also like our articles on productivity (here) and morning routines (here). For beauty tips, skincare products, and more content like this, follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.
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